First things first: Before learning how to make a mood board, what are they, and when should you make one?

What is a mood board?

Learning how to make a mood board doesn’t have to be too complicated. A mood board is a collection of images, fonts, patterns, textures and colors. It literally defines the “mood’ of a brand, and is a necessary component of brand building that happens after the brand’s strategy is created, and before the visual identity is created. A mood board is literally a bridge between the concepts and creation of a brand. Picture this: A client or an entrepreneur wants a brand that is luxurious! As a designer, it is your job to translate that desired perception into visuals. However, you’ve got a problem! Every person defines luxury a little differently. It could be a “limited edition” kind of luxury, or an “exotic” kind of luxury, or even a “seductive kind of luxury. Take a look at each of the following examples if you are confused…

LIMITED EDITION LUXURY

limited edition luxury

EXOTIC PLEASURES LUXURY

exotic pleasures luxury

SEDUCTIVE LUXURY

seductive luxury

Mood boards come in all sorts of… Moods! There are dark mood boards for things like spooky movies, vibrant and happy mood boards for brands like Toys “R” Us, super luxe mood boards for brands like The Robb Report, modern mood boards for companies like Apple, and, well… you are starting to get the idea.

When should you make a mood board?

The basic premise behind a mood board is that it must communicate ONE mood, not many. The goal is to embody the brand’s desired perception, visually. To do this effectively, a brander will usually present several mood board options (like the above) once that have gotten the client to describe exactly how they want the brand to be perceived. Once the client has committed, you can then translate what they have told you verbally, into something visually, so that you don’t end up with a visual identity or logo design that it the wrong kind of luxury, or something of that nature.

How to make a mood board:

Well, if you are going to do it with your computer, then you should gather inspiration from all over the web for each of the three mood boards that you are going to design to help the client pick a mood for their brand. Your task here is to find pictures, and patterns and fonts that communicate a mood, the specific mood that embodies your brand.

Take a look at the following mood board and see if you can understand what makes it compelling.

As you can see, the above mood boards capture different kinds of luxury, but you could be trying to capture different kinds of funny, like bathroom humor, or sarcasm, or self deprecation. Here’s a general guide to help you lay out your mood boards…

an example of how to make a mood board

So, now that you’ve got a handle on the basics of what goes into a mood board, how are you going to create yours? Well, here are some simple tools that people use every day in mood board creation:

Pinterest:

Certainly not the best tool for creating a mood board, but definitely the most popular for casual use and affords lots of browsing and inspiration across other user’s accounts.

Go Moodboard:

One of the simplest and easiest to use mood board creators and cloud based systems out there, it comes with ready-made mood board templates and sleek design suitable for any beginner.

Mural.co:

One of the higher end “white board” alternatives out there, it also has great capabilities around image based collaborative sharing, although it might be a bit too much for the casual user, it is great if you are a creative services provider. This used to be known as Murally.

Sample Board:

Yet another pay-to-play option, this service’s ready made mood board selection is vast, and customizable.

Ok, now that you are all set with your basic instructions, and the tools you need to create your mood board, it is time to start creating! Also, if you still have a hankering for more knowledge on the topic, here are some videos for more information.

Thanks for visiting the blog, and we’ll see you next time!